Fewer than one in four teenagers in Tennessee held a job in the past year, according to a report issued Monday. Young 20-somethings had better luck and saw employment rates in line with the national average, but state officials say the issue of getting our young people to work has become more pressing since the Great Recession. Andrea Zelinski has more.
The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with the Tennessee Technology Center in Murfreesboro to launch the Veterans Welcome Home Network, an initiative that seeks to find civilian jobs for area military personnel who have recently left the service.
The VWHN will be coordinated by a Tennessee Technology Center of Murfreesboro employee who is also a veteran. The coordinator will work with the business and industry community to determine the skill sets required for current employment opportunities, and will arrange on-site visits to the various military installations within a 300-mile radius of Murfreesboro.
Middle Tennessee's efforts to fill its shortage of IT workers — 1,200 at last count — is getting some priceless national pub courtesy of Fast Company's Alissa Walker. Included in the piece is a challenge for local executives from local tech entrepreneur Nicholas Holland about changing the ways they run their businesses. His message: Let go of the reins and focus more on results.
"Right now, there's a lack of resources so everyone is trying to entice and incentivize the same tech pool," he says. "Larger firms, especially in Nashville, like healthcare firms have the ability to throw a lot of money at the problem, but many workers are looking for other things like a fuller career path, or an ecosystem that supports their personal lives."
HT: Matt Largen
Milt Capps has taken another look at Middle Tennessee's need to attract, cultivate and retain high-end engineering and IT talent. He reports on the conversation at a recent meeting hosted by Vanderbilt professor Germain Boer, where Shareable Ink CEO Stephen Hau said Nashville has all the ingredients for high-tech success in health care, "except for the engineers."
Many of Hau's comments seem to translate into a pressing need to create a critical mass of superior engineering talent that can be virtually, if not literally under one roof in Nashville, close enough to network, spark ideas and encourage one another onward to address tough engineering problems. He made clear he's thinking-through the matter with others and is likely to take some collaborative action, at some point.
Tennessee scores poorly in this ranking comparing the duration of unemployment among the states. The Volunteer State's share of those who have been without a job for at least 26 weeks is almost six points higher than the national average. After that long without a job, some economists say many people develop health issues and — crucially for the recovery's prospects — often return to the labor force in lower-paying positions.
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